Three years ago during July of 2012, I posted about our library wall quotes and word cloud that I put up when we moved into the new library. Just three years later, and I felt like it was time for a change.
For the past several years, the library has been decked out in neon colors and zebra print, which I loved and has been a lot of fun. A few things lead me to the decision to redecorate the library. First, I was lucky enough to hear Erin Klein speak at the Arkansas Association of Instructional Media conference this spring. Erin also did a TL Virtual Cafe webinar on Classroom Cribs. She talks a lot about creating an inviting space where all students feel welcome and comfortable. Although my students absolutely loved our library as it was, I knew that I could do more to make it more appealing to both genders and not so “girly.” I’m also currently reading Dave Burgess’ book Teach Like a Pirate. He talks a great deal about incorporating your passions into your teaching practice as much as possible. I took inspiration from both of these awesome educators and decided to revamp the library with a travel theme — anyone who knows me knows that I’m passionate about travel. Plus reading and travel are a perfect pairing, don’t you think?
So now for the part that everyone’s curious about — “How did you do those awesome wall quotes?!”
Our PTO purchased a Cricut Expression machine years ago. I used it the first time we put up quotes. It is great for cutting vinyl and crafting with card stock.
Purchasing a USB cable and downloading Cricut Craft Room saved me a lot of time in the layout and cutting process, but this is still VERY time consuming. I brought the machine home and cut out the quotes over the course of about a week — and I spent MANY hours working on it during that time.
I prefer to use the 12×24 mat and order sheets of vinyl that size from ExpressionsVinyl.com. They have a large selection of colors and I’ve been more than pleased every time I order from them.
In the picture above, you can see that blade of the Cricut wasn’t set very deep — it didn’t cut through the backing, just the vinyl. When I cut out the quotes, I had it cut deeper so I could lay out the quotes and make sure none of the letters are missing.
It’s kind of crazy how trying to fit as many letters as possible on a sheet and make sure you end up with all of the right words and punctuation can blow your mind!
I’ve purchased the vinyl transfer paper before, but never actually used it. Instead, we invested in this handy little laser level. We use 3M Command Strips to stick it to the wall and shoot a line.
Then the letters go up one by one.
They peel back up from the wall pretty easily without tearing if you have to adjust them…which you will. Often.
I spent pretty much an entire day up on the ladder putting up the quotes with the help of my awesome mom. I’m so happy with how they all turned out!
I went with these five travel and reading themed quotes…I love each one of them dearly and hope they will speak to my students, too.
We even changed some of the font and color of the words in the word cloud above the circulation desk.
The finishing touches on the rest of the space are still underway and I can’t wait to post again soon with the rest of the details!